Replacing floor panels on '68 (repost)
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Thread: Replacing floor panels on '68 (repost)

  1. #1
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    Question Replacing floor panels on '68 (repost)

    Not sure where the thread went I started a couple days ago but the jist of it was how feasible would it be to replace floor panels & torque boxes on a '68 without removing the drivetrain, mainly because I don't have the time or $$$ to jump into a full restoration or engine rebuild (doesn't need rebuilt that bad).

    There were a couple replies when I saw it last, wasn't on the internet yesterday though, but one saying it would be difficult because of the drivetrain weight stressing the body and affecting alignment. I am thinking about instead of removing the drivetrain to instead hook up a cherry picker toward the back of the engine and disconnecting the motor mounts and lifting up on it enough to relieve most if not all of the weight. I would use a jackstand under the trans and undo its mount as well. Not sure if this would suffice or if having the car not level would make alignment measurements difficult or not.

    Someone posted a link to this website with a writeup of floor panel repair which was very helpful http://www.theclassiccougarnetwork.com/tccn2/index.html

    If anyone else remembers my thread and what you posted it would be great to hear from you again. I'm most concerned about body alignment and maintaining strutural integrity through the process. With the torque boxes being deteriorated and soft floor around the frame rail I suspect the body isn't perfectly true as it sits, which will make this project a little more challenging.

    Thanks again everyone,

    Vaughn
    '68 Standard Saxony Coupe, 302 2v auto, PS PB, factory A/C, tilt-away

  2. #2
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    Do one side at a time, leave the doors and fenders on to check the alignment as you go.
    68 Standard, Wimbledon (Polar) White/Red...

  3. #3
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    Another thing I meant to mention is some of the cancer thru the floor is only reachable behind the fender, a little above where your toes would be when sitting on the passenger side. I would have to remove that fender. Does that mean I'm getting into replacing some of the firewall?

    I'll likely remove my fenders since I'm going to be rebuilding the front end at the same time, although I will likely leave them on to do the torque boxes and floor pan area, then remove them. With the fenders off I would like to clean up the old delaminating undercoating which I'm sure traps water making it more rust prone. I'm going to remove the undercoating as much as I can and rustproof/prime/prep and do whatever coating I need to in those areas that will be durable and minimize the chances of this happening again.

    Speaking of torque boxes are there any writeups about replacing them? Interestingly most of the floorpan rust is on the passenger size, but the torque box on that side is in much better shape than the one on the driver side.
    Last edited by VMacKenzie; October 28th, 2009 at 01:20 PM.
    '68 Standard Saxony Coupe, 302 2v auto, PS PB, factory A/C, tilt-away

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by VMacKenzie View Post
    Another thing I meant to mention is some of the cancer thru the floor is only reachable behind the fender, a little above where your toes would be when sitting on the passenger side. I would have to remove that fender. Does that mean I'm getting into replacing some of the firewall?
    From bottom to top, floorpan-toeboard-firewall.

    I'll likely remove my fenders since I'm going to be rebuilding the front end at the same time, although I will likely leave them on to do the torque boxes and floor pan area, then remove them. With the fenders off I would like to clean up the old delaminating undercoating which I'm sure traps water making it more rust prone. I'm going to remove the undercoating as much as I can and rustproof/prime/prep and do whatever coating I need to in those areas that will be durable and minimize the chances of this happening again.
    Torque box should be replaced when the floor pan is removed.

    Speaking of torque boxes are there any writeups about replacing them? Interestingly most of the floorpan rust is on the passenger size, but the torque box on that side is in much better shape than the one on the driver side.
    Self-explanatory once you have the new piece in front of you and you've cut the old one out. Sometimes just the lower torquebox plate is rusted and that's all you have to replace. HERE is the RS torquebox install on my Mustang (same part as a Cougar).

    Just remember, grind the metal shiny before you attempt to weld. Trying to weld through paint, rust and corrosion is difficult and leaves a weak weld.
    68 Standard, Wimbledon (Polar) White/Red...

  6. #5
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    Thanks for your input Art. I just crawled under the Cougar again and you're right the torque boxes only need patch repair on the lower side, should be pretty easy to do.

    I like what you did with the frame rails on your Mustang, extending them to the back. . . when I finally do a full teardown and ground up that's one of the things I want to do as well.

    Vaughn
    '68 Standard Saxony Coupe, 302 2v auto, PS PB, factory A/C, tilt-away

  7. #6
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    Kicking this back up, getting ready to order panels to work on the floor and have a couple more questions that I haven't found good info for:

    I read that you don't need to weld every inch of seam, just spot all the way around with about 25-30% of the distance in welds then "seal the rest up with a good sealer." So what would be a good sealer? Wouldn't the best long-term solution be to fully weld it?

    Secondly there is undercoat all over the bottom, which is deteriorating and pretty well done for. I am thinking to strip as much of this off as I can (that's going to be a job!) but what would be recommended to finish the bottom side with starting at bare metal? How about going Por-15 Metal Ready then primer then chassis black to finally some kind of undercoat (or skip the undercoating and use dynamat for noise suppression)? The car WILL get driven in the rain (but not snow), quite a bit I expect, and I want to make it as weather-resistant and durable as I can.

    Last question, in the past I've seen support bars or subframe extenders for body strengthening and I'd like to do that while I'm at it, but after a quick search I couldn't find anything. Would doing this be worthwhile for someone who wants a solid tight-feeling car? Is this hard to do?

    I am probably going to order panels from Ken's Cougars since they seem to be the only place that has toeboards.

    Thanks again, Vaughn
    '68 Standard Saxony Coupe, 302 2v auto, PS PB, factory A/C, tilt-away

  8. #7
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    I find it hard to believe that Kens has anything unique in the area of sheet metal.
    That being said, support who you like.
    I'd use a wire wheel on a drill to remove the old stuff around where you are going to repair, and then when you are done maybe some chassis black or similar product designed for bare metal.
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  9. #8
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    Thanks woodsnake. I looked at other sites like WCCC, Mustangs Unlimited, and I think John's Classic Cougars and only find the floor pans and no toe boards unless I'm missing something. Not too concerned about who I order from other than getting what I need at a reasonable price with good customer service.
    '68 Standard Saxony Coupe, 302 2v auto, PS PB, factory A/C, tilt-away

  10. #9
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    I see some floor pans are 19 gauge, and some are 22. . . probably want the 19 gauge!

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    Quote Originally Posted by VMacKenzie View Post
    I read that you don't need to weld every inch of seam, just spot all the way around with about 25-30% of the distance in welds then "seal the rest up with a good sealer." So what would be a good sealer? Wouldn't the best long-term solution be to fully weld it?
    I don't know where you read or saw that but I would definitely weld around the entire repair skipping a few inches at a time to avoid heat build up in the panel and then grind the welds smooth. Are you doing a butt repair or lap? After that two good coats of epoxy primer would be enough assuming you have a water tight interior i.e. no leaky cowl, no leaky heater core and no missing A/C drip tube under the heater if A/C equipped.
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    The best way I've found to get rid of old undercoating is by using a small propane torch, a metal putty knife, and a steel brush.
    With the torch, get an area of undercoating (around 6 x 6") hot. Hot enough to start smoking, then scrape it off with the putty knife.
    Heat the same area again except this time brush the remainder off with the wire brush.
    Keep on going stripping and brushing small areas until you finish. Any remaining can be wiped off with mineral spirits and a rag.

    The metal doesn't get hot enough to scorch the paint underneath.

    Fuzor two part seam sealer is the best. The 3M fast and firm will crack and fall out in time.
    Last edited by Art; December 1st, 2009 at 03:23 AM.
    68 Standard, Wimbledon (Polar) White/Red...

  13. #12
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    tbm3fan yep I'd definitely skip around and take a few "laps" when welding vs. going in a continuous run. I checked out the cowl area with a flashlight and luckily no rust there, definitely no leaks. Not sure about the AC hose, AC hasn't worked in years.

    Art I was just thinking about doing it that way because I took decades worth of old peeling paint layers of an old house that way and it worked pretty well.

    Vaughn
    '68 Standard Saxony Coupe, 302 2v auto, PS PB, factory A/C, tilt-away

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    If you think about it, the whole car is welded together with just spot welds. I only welded my floors on about every 4 inches. I made sure the new/old surfaces were flat against each other, then welded, then used a solvent-based seam sealer to caulk around the perimeter and in all the crevices. Then I rolled on a layer of epoxy primer, dynamat, then used a pro-quality rubberized undercoat for the bottom of the car. That stuff in a spray can is almost useless. I also drive my car everyday.

    Here is after welding:


    As far as support, I had the back wheels on the ground, jackstands under the back ends of the frame rails, and a jackstand under the radiator support where the strut rods bolt through. Then I took the hood, fenders, and doors off. It all went back together fine.
    Last edited by SeanD; December 1st, 2009 at 05:45 PM.
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  15. #14
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    Sean did you do this with the drivetrain in the car?

  16. Replacing floor panels on 68 repost

    looked in the search section and on daves restos about replacing a passenger front floor pan in my mk1 escort, im pretty clear on it now but was just wondering is it best to seam weld the chasis rail back on from underneath or plug weld it from the top and also my seat box thing is in perfect condition so can i just leave that intact and weld the floor pan slightly forward of this?



    cheers guys

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